Monday, August 31, 2009


I accidentally posted on my nephew's blog earlier. I don't know exactly how I did it. I had logged onto my blog to post on one of my sister's laptops. I wrote my post and then clicked "publish post". It popped up on my nephew's blog at that point and not on mine. Confusing to someone like me. My sister was surprised to see that her son had a blog. He'll be eleven on Wednesday.

I told him about the accidental posting later, so that he could go in and delete it. Unfortunately, he doesn't remember his password, so not only can he not delete it, he can't even post on it. Anyway, my nephew was telling his mom that he had asked her if he could start the blog and that she had told him that it was fine with her "as long as it didn't cost any damn money". I thought that was a hoot!

No Question Today

I'm out of town for a few days. I didn't bring the book with me that I get my Monday question from, so there will be no question today. Hopefully by Friday, I'll be home and I'll have my computer back and I'll be able to start getting my life together again. Cross those fingers and toes for me.

Saturday, August 29, 2009

Sucker Punched

Most of the time, when your life changes, you can't look at one particular moment and say "my life will never be the same after this". You may be able to look back at some point and say that your life changed at that point and you wish you had been able to appreciate it, but you didn't know it at that time. Oh, there are the big things like birth and death that you know will change you, but there are most often subtle things that change our lives that we never realize are "that big moment" until much later.

Then there are the things that slap you up side your face while they kick you in the stomach like a two ton mule. The things that you know have changed your life. They have changed you. Like when your first love breaks up with you, and you know that you'll never trust in exactly the same way again because you aren't as innocent anymore.

Something like that happened to me yesterday. I'm still in shock from it. I don't know how to move on. I don't know when I'll get past it. I don't know if I'll get past it. I don't know how to trust again. It's just too soon to forgive and I'll never be able to forget. I lost a friend yesterday. Another friendship may be lost forever also. That is what I'm trying to figure out. Can I forgive and live with it? Can I go on with this friend as a big part of my life? It's just too soon to tell.

There is a part of me that wants to hate both of these friends for what they did to me. I want to share the information with their families and with facebook. I can be vindictive, after all. But the fact of the matter is that I can't do that to them because I actually love them. I don't want to hurt them like they hurt me. So, in order to save myself, I've cut one of the friends from my life and I'm trying to decide what to do about the other one. Lord help me.

Friday, August 28, 2009


I was looking through older pictures on my hubby's computer and ran across this one of my grandson. I'd forgotten just how adorable he was when he was a baby!
He starts school on Monday. He'll be in kindergarten. Time sure does fly.

Computer Problems

I've been without my computer for several days now. I can use my hubby's to check my e-mail and a few of the blogs I love, but everything I want and need is on my computer. I feel so lost without it. Quite a change for a woman who used to refer to her hubby's computer as "his mistress". I didn't know a thing about them back then and didn't care to. All I knew was that the hunk of metal in the other room took all of my hubby's free time. I've surprised my hubby, more than myself, with my computer use.

My poor computer has "a really nasty virus". I have no idea how I got it and I'm grateful that my hubby will eventually fix it. No telling what all I'll end up losing in the process. The whole thing makes me sad and somewhat angry because someone initially set up the virus for their own amusement just to wreck havoc on the lives of others. What kind of person does that?

All of this is to explain why there will be no picture of the week today. I'll post it when I get my computer back. Hopefully the photos that I've taken will be still there.

Monday, August 24, 2009

Monday Question

I love to write for my blog. In fact, I'd really like to do it daily, but I can't always think of something to say when I want to write. So, today I dug out a book that I purchased a long time ago -- The Book of Questions by Gregory Stock, Ph.D. It says the first printing was in 1987 and this copy is either from the 10th or 5th printing. I don't know how to tell for sure, but those numbers are first and last in the line of "printings", so I'm pretty sure it's one of them.

Anyway, I decided that it might be interesting to ask some of the questions from the book in my blog on Mondays for a while. Hopefully, you'll want to answer the questions also -- in the comments section. I'll pick and choose which questions I like. For today, I've picked question number two.

2a. Do you believe in ghosts or evil spirits? I do. Here are the reasons why: I feel very certain that my father "visited" me after he passed (in December of 1995) on at least two occasions. The first was the day he died. I had finally returned home from the hospital and had laid down to try to take a nap. I was very upset and having trouble going to sleep. I was on my right side and suddenly felt this weight lean against the middle of my back. It was quite heavy. I could tell that is was my dad and I felt much calmer. I drifted right off at that point, knowing that he was fine. The next "visit" was a few nights later. My hubby was working and my son wasn't at home (don't remember where he was now). It was fairly late at night and I was alone with the three dogs that we had at the time. It was a very blustery, cold December that year. My dad had had a horrible time with the wind just cutting right through him. It was very painful and he just couldn't tolerate it. Well, that night, around 10 or 11 PM, my locked back door came open. All three of my dogs ran down the stairs barking their heads off, with raised hackles. As I crept down the stairs, the dogs stopped barking. By the time I got there, all three were standing, with their tails wagging, staring at the door, which was swinging in the wind! I'm sure they knew it was dad and, at that point, I did too. I remember telling my dad to "come on in and get warm, but to excuse me because I was just exhausted and I was going back to bed". I went and shut the door again and I checked to make sure it was indeed locked. I went back upstairs to bed. The dogs were quiet the rest of the night.

There were also several other times that I feel that a ghost, spirit or even an angel helped me. I worked in Dallas for a couple of years, driving the 75 miles one way to get to work. On several occasions, during a rough time in my life, I fell asleep at the wheel on the way to or from work. Each time, I had prayed for help getting safely to my destination. Each time, I was awakened by something touching both sides of my face. It tingled. I woke up and didn't fall asleep again during that trip.

2b. Would you be willing to spend the night alone in a remote house that is supposedly haunted? If the ghost was not rumored to be evil or hostile, yes, I think I would. I would not stay alone if it was not a friendly ghost. I've stayed several nights in haunted hotel rooms with my mother. It's something we like to do. I'll have to tell you about our visit during one of them at a later time.

Sunday, August 23, 2009

Knitting Progress?

Well, I can't say I'm making a lot of progress on my learning to knit. At least not quality progress. I had to move the cast on stitches to the other needle because I somehow messed up and had the stitch I needed to start knitting on at the opposite end of the needle it was on. How did that happen?

After calmly and slowly moving the cast on stitches, I discovered that I had put the needle through at least two of the loop's yarn! So, I ripped out through those places and re-cast on. At that point, I started to knit with the knit stitch. I thought I was doing pretty good. I wanted to make a scarf. I had read somewhere that 30 cast on stitches were a good wide width for a scarf. I wanted mine a little more wide, so I had cast on 40 stitches. Looked like plenty of room with just the cast on stitches. As I started to knit, it took up more room.

For the first several rows of stitching, I counted my stitches and made sure I still had 30 on each row. Then I got cocky and stopped counting. After (what I think) is 10 rows, I counted again and I have 44 stitches on the needle now. I increased 4 stitches! Wonder how I did that?

Needless to say, since you can see by the photos, that the needle is a bit crowded. So, I've decided to rip it all out and start over with just 30 cast on stitches. I'll also count after every row to make sure I don't increase accidentally again. Hopefully, I'll be able to get my tension more even too.

Sorry about the dark photo, but I was trying to photograph the actual stitches.

Saturday, August 22, 2009

I'm Learning to Knit

Several years ago, my friend Marianne attempted to teach me to knit. It was at my request, but I was still so very involved in quilting that I made little progress. In fact, I forgot everything she had taught me. We had talked about taking up the lessons again, but didn't get to it before she passed away. Needless to say, that made me want to learn even more. I don't remember seeing anything that Marianne completed as far as knitting is concerned, she was a very prolific quilter, but I will forever think of her when I knit.

I went out and bought a "Knitting for Dummies" book. I've found many great tips and I'm glad I bought it, but I was still having a lot of trouble. They had three ways to cast on and the one they said was the best for most knitting, was just not making any sense to me. Then I got an email from one of the ladies in my quilting friends group. Debbie Z sent an article telling us about the Sock Summit held in Portland, Oregon earlier this month. In it, one young woman said that she taught herself to knit via the Internet. I held on to the email and tonight reread parts of it. Then I hit the Internet and googled "knitting help". Found a great website at that has videos, including a video of the casting on technique I had been attempting. I can now cast on! I've done it several times in an attempt to get as many stitches as I wanted without having too long a tail at the end. I'm just thrilled. I have these visions of teaching my granddaughters to knit and maybe even my niece B. Of course I haven't even taken a knitting stitch yet, I've only cast on, but it's never too early to dream big! This photo is of my cast on stitches. I love this baby poop green yarn!

Friday, August 21, 2009

Photo of the week 20 of 39 -- On My Table

I took photos of all the "tables" in my life this week. Well, actually, I didn't take photos of all of them, come to think of it. I have a couple of tables downstairs that I seldom use. One is an antique drop leaf table that I only use if I'm having a big gathering. The other is one that I used to sew on. It was used last when our son visited. He set up his computer there.
The photos I took were of my computer/sewing table upstairs, the table I had lunch on once this week at Chipotle's and the bar where we normally eat. That is the one I'm using for my photo of the week. The bar is our "table". It's cluttered. I decided to let you see what it really looks like instead of cleaning it off. I'll be honest, sometimes, it's cleaner than this but most of the time, it's much worse. Everything just seems to land here and then stay a while. The only time it's truly cleaned off is if I'm about to baste a quilt on top of it. It never stays cleaned off for long. There is almost always laundry and recycling on it, plus mail and other odds and ends. Just like this photo shows. It's us in real life.
Next week's theme is "temperature".

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Welcome Home Pudge!!!

If you are a Texas Rangers baseball fan, you are a happy camper right now. Ivan "Pudge" Rodriguez is back with the Rangers as of Tuesday! He's a veteran catcher and one hell of a ball player. I love to see him throw someone out as they attempt to steal second! He's one of my all time favorite ball players (along with Rusty Greer) and I'm just thrilled to have him back on my favorite team.
He'd been gone for about 7 years, I think. Playing for other teams. During his absence, I got this Pudge bobble head on eBay. It kept my smiles coming to bobble his little head and think of all the great plays he'd made for us in the past while I kept my fingers crossed that he'd someday be back with us and making them again. Now, he is!
My only complaint about the bobble head is that's too heavy to attach to my car dashboard. I'd love that.

Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Sewing Tonight

I was in the mood to sew a bit tonight. So, I tackled a few of the birthday blocks for a swap I'm in. The blue-ish ones look much better in person than in this photo, but there still isn't much contrast between the two fabrics. I sometimes like to make a couple of low contrast blocks for myself when I'm making a quilt, but I may have made a mistake making the blocks for the swap. Not everyone likes that kind of thing. I'm also a little concerned about the green. These blocks are supposed to be "cool" colors and green fits in that category, but this green has a lot of yellow in it. Much more than I would normally use in a warm block. I kind of wish I could start them all over. Yikes.

Monday, August 17, 2009

I Fried Chicken

This afternoon, I fried chicken. This may not be newsworthy to most of you, but here in my house, it is. Truth be told, I'm not overly fond of cooking (and I truly dislike frying). It's not even the cooking itself that I hate so much, it's all of it together -- the grocery shopping, preparation, cooking and then the clean up.

My hubby has been asking for fried chicken for a while. I haven't wanted to cook it, but I am trying to cook more often, so I finally relented and told him that I would very soon. I'd prefer to make "healthy" meals since we both need to loose weight, but hubby doesn't want to eat healthy. He wants all the comfort foods I used to cook before we realized they weren't exactly healthy. After much back and forth, I bought the chicken and fried it today.

Hubby tends to forget that I've fried chicken almost as soon as he digests it. After all, he wants more fried chicken to be cooked! Soon we start to argue about how long it's been since I fried him any chicken -- I always think it's been fairly recent and he always says it's been a year. I decided to nip that argument in the bud this time around. I wrote it on the calendar and then realized that I should blog it too. Then I have proof (and so does he).

It takes hours to actually fry all of this. I get the biggest package I can find and go to it. I can't remember how many pounds it actually was (maybe five pounds), but I do know that it was nine breasts that I cut in half. Hubby likes for me to use garlic salt instead of plain. After washing, I salt with Lawry's garlic salt, then I shake it in flour that I've put in a zip lock bag and then fry in vegetable oil.

So, here is my proof. First of the chicken in the frying pan, then all of the chicken that's been fried today. I doubt it will last the night.

The Kid in the Stands

I just had to post a quick note about the kid in the stands yesterday at the ballgame. It was the Texas Rangers vs. the Boston Red Sox. Texas Rangers outfielder Josh Hamilton is up at bat. He hits a foul ball into the upper deck stands and this kid -- C.J. who looks to be about 10 years old -- catches it with his glove! Everyone clapped and was happy for him. The crowd loves to see someone catch a foul ball, but when a kid does it, it's especially great.

Same at bat, next ball thrown, Hamilton hit another foul ball into the same area. The same kid, C.J. catches the ball again! Amazing! The crowd gave him a standing ovation! He was named "Fan of the Game" and given some goodies, including a gold glove trophy! I had so much fun watching all of that on TV! I couldn't have been happier for anyone. C.J. will never forget that game. I may not either. Way to go C.J., I hope you were able to sleep last night!

Saturday, August 15, 2009

Miniature Quilt Update

I really haven't been sewing or quilting much lately. Seems like years since I've done either on a daily basis and today, I realized that I kind of miss it. I went into Dallas for a miniature quilt "class". It's really more of a "sit and sew" session with ladies who have grown to be good friends. When I joined the group, we were about to embark on the Dear Jane quilt, making blocks each month when we got together. I've started it and only made one or two blocks so far. I keep changing my mind on the color scheme for the quilt. Should it be Christmas colors? I've always wanted a Christmas quilt. Or maybe 30's reproductions or Civil war reproductions (the original was made during the Civil war) or maybe I should do it with batiks. Ugh! I started it in Christmas fabrics and now may change to batiks or I may ditch the project all together. I could always turn the blocks I've made into a mini for the Quilter's Guild of Dallas Quilt Celebration miniature auction in March. Whatever I do, I'll post photos of it. Anyway, I finally drifted on to work on other projects during that time.

This month, I worked on my Stormy Weather pineapple mini. I'm hand quilting it. Since I've only quilted during those classes for the last two months, I have no idea how long it will end up taking me to complete. When I do, I'll post a photo. Come to think of it, if I actually sew this weekend, I'll post a photo of that too.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Photo of the week 19 of 39 -- Fire or Flame

This is a photo of the dead fall burning from our yard work a couple of weeks or so ago. I've always loved the smell of wood burning. Too bad we didn't have some Hershey's chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers. That might have made the work "S'more" fun.
Next week's theme is "On My Table".

Wednesday, August 12, 2009

Ice Cream

This is my favorite "summer" ice cream. Blue Bell's Banana Pudding is wonderful and it's seasonal so it can only be found in the summer! Tastes exactly like banana pudding. It's good with chocolate sauce on it too. Fortunately, I'm not truly addicted to ice cream. As you've probably noticed from my photos, I'm not exactly thin, so I try to hold the ice cream to a minimum. I purchase only one 1/2 gallon of the Banana Pudding ice cream a year. If I could find it in a smaller container, I'd get that instead.

During the holidays, I like Braums Peppermint ice cream. I can usually get by with a couple of scoops, but it just isn't the holidays without my peppermint ice cream. I don't start wanting it until after Thanksgiving and I have it before Christmas rolls around. That's the only time of year I ever want it. I recently discovered that Braums carries their Peppermint ice cream year round. Didn't do a thing for me. I don't want it until Thanksgiving has left us behind.

The rest of the year, if I happen to need a bite of ice cream, I like chocolate of various degrees and Ben and Jerry's Chunky Monkey.

Lack of Sleep

I haven't been sleeping well lately. I don't know what the problem is. I looked slightly deranged this morning when I dragged myself out of bed, feeling as if I hadn't slept more than a couple of hours. Thought I'd share my look with you, even though gravity had calmed my hair considerably by the time the photo was taken. It may be the only photo of myself that I actually like. I wonder what that says about me?

Saturday, August 8, 2009

Katie update

I thought you might be wondering how our Katie girl is adjusting. She's quite at home now. She and Barkley truly seem to enjoy each other's company. They play and run together all day long. She has found at least one way out of the fenced yard, which worries me because we have recently discovered that there are wild hogs in the area now! I'm actually more worried about the hogs than the highway. Fortunately, she doesn't get out often and she comes back quickly when called. She no longer has accidents in the house, but she still tends to chew things left within reach. We're working on it.

When she first arrived here, Katie was pretty quiet. Now, she barks when she hears or sees something unusual going on. Last night, she was barking and seemed to be protecting me too. I think it was actually the reflections on the darkened windows that got her all upset, but it could have been some animal that she could hear and we couldn't. Everywhere I went, she followed. Standing very near me, looking toward the window barking. It was a nice sign of things to come. I love a friendly dog who is protective when it needs to be, but not one you need to worry about being aggressive. I believe she's going to be that kind.

Now, she was a bit overwhelmed when my grandchildren first showed up. Our house if pretty quiet usually and when you add 5 new people to it -- three of them being excited children who have been cooped up in a car for almost 24 hours, it can get loud quickly. My house, being made of cedar logs, can also really vibrate with noise when there is some. It kind of bounces around in here before it figures out what to do with itself. Katie did not like that one bit. I held her collar and talked to her while hubby explained that she was nervous and why to the children. The kids quieted and slowly approached. Before long, they were all playing together.

I have yet to get a photo I like of Katie. I'm still trying and she doesn't seem to like the camera. She reminds me of my granddaughter number 2, always turning her head or running away as soon as she hears it come on. In this shot, she's trying to take a little snooze on the bed, where she is not supposed to be.

Friday, August 7, 2009

Photo of the week 18 of 39 -- Crossroads

When I saw the theme "Crossroads" come up, I knew exactly what I wanted to photograph. Unfortunately, I couldn't find a population sign for the little town nearby. In my effort to find the sign, I went through the town and took several shots at the local high school. Looks like school will start back up on the 24th.

Next week's theme is "fire of flame".

Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Heart and things like them

My son and his family left for home this morning. It always makes me so sad when they leave because we see each other so seldom. We had an especially good visit this time, which is kind of a double edged sword. It makes it even more difficult to say goodbye. I love my grandchildren. I have special relationships with each of them, but granddaughter number one and I have had a special bond since she was born. When she was smaller, I used to ask her not to cry when one of us was leaving the other so that I wouldn't cry too. She was always so brave and never cried in front of me. This morning, just before they were about to leave she told me she wanted to live with me. Just about broke my heart. So, of course when they were pulling out of the drive way, I'm wiping away tears. I'm pretty sure it's the first time I've broken our rule.

Over their visit, we found two heart shaped things to photograph. One is a rock that granddaughter number one found in our yard. She took it home with her. Of all the rocks she collected, that is the only one she kept. The other photo was taken while we waited in line at the Dallas World Aquarium. It's the leaves of a redbud tree. I had promised Pam I would take a photo of them ages ago and forgotten until I saw them there. This one's for you Pam.

Roller Skating at the Rink

The kids have had plastic roller skates, but never been roller skating with real roller skates at a real roller skating rink before yesterday. I had promised them when I was in CA over their spring break that we would go and, to be honest, I was getting a little worried about keeping that promise this trip. It's really hard to get everything in that you want to do with them when you are sharing time with the other set of grandparents. We had tried to do it on Monday only to find out that the rink was closed on Mondays. Thankfully, their parents extended their stay by a day or we would not have made it.

Granddaughter number one took to skating like a fish takes to water. She fell a lot, but didn't let that bother her at all! She got back up and just took off. She was out in the middle in no time at all. Granddaughter number two took a little more time to feel at ease. Dad knew just how to help her. Once she felt more comfortable, she was back on the floor skating the edge and soon around the whole rink! Both girls loved skating and have asked if we can go again when they come back. Grandson loved playing the games too.

Dallas World Aquarium

Last Saturday, my son and I took the granddaughters to the Dallas World Aquarium. Here are a few of the things we saw. Most of the photos we took didn't turn out well. There were a lot of people there. Granddaughter number one wanted to take photos, but was having trouble with the glass, even with the flash off. She did take a great shot of the spotted stingray. Don't know the proper name of it. Granddaughter number two took the great shot of the octopus. I never could get the shot I wanted of the manatee.